Southern Fusion Cuisine, Can It Really Be Health?

Rizzo’s Diner

492 S Main Street

Memphis, TN 38103

When you think Memphis, you think BBQ, beer, music… and soul food. Well, in South Main there lies a diamond in the rough that like a handful of talented chefs in Memphis have gravitated towards, Southern fusion. Southern fusion is where country meets city. Its like the hip grandma everyone wanted, where you have sunny side up egg with steak and avocado.

To understand the healthy side of Southern Fusion, I decided to take to Rizzo’s Diner in Memphis, TN to show you that this Southern food isn’t forgetting Grandma’s sincere advice to eat your vegetables.

From top to bottom we will explore Rizzo’s Diner.

As you walk into this crisp, cool bar, you will feel the warmth of the staff from the front to the back; you will feel at home.

The aromas will gravitate towards you and this is where the metabolism starts. As you smell the delicious foods, the salivary glands begin to produce in the mouth preparing it for the cuisine.

The first thing you do is order water. This will cleanse the palette of anything you had during the day. It will set the pH level in the stomach at a better place. Also, if you have any alcohol you will begin to feel hydrated, allowing for you to enjoy your meal better.

If you want to have a glass of wine, it is better to drink alcohol with your meal to keep the sugars of wine balanced in the bloodstream. If you have alcohol solo, the sugars tend to spike causing the alcohol levels in the blood to be higher than with food. The cool thing about the nutrients in the meal, it will help protect the cells, process foods and proceed through the blood at a safer rate.

Rizzo’s Diner has many great delicious food choices particularly beautifully designed to please the palette. But does it really hold the true nutritional food pairing? Read on to find out about Rizzo’s Diner in Memphis, TN.

Chef Michael Patrick has done a fantastic job of pairing the foods together to please the palette some of the favorite patron choices is the Lobster Pronto Pup, Lamb Belly Taco, Ahi Tuna, South Main Salad and the Filet.

Not only will this blog guide you to the right menu choices to enhance effectively your nutrient intake but think of it as a way to help you adequately with post workout needs like marathons, runs, crossfit, yoga, walking, losing weight, heart disease, diabetes…. and so forth.

(The following are suggestions and are not supported by the FDA, consult your doctor when it comes to medication, and what your regime should be)

Post Run (PR) perfect for runners, post races and hard workouts. Why? It contains nutrients that are the perfect blend needed for the proper electrolyte replacement which is not just water, salt and sugar/ citrus. In order to really utilize the electrolytes and get them into the system effectively, you will pair them with foods rich in C, niacin, E, Calcium, magnesium, salt, protein. Also antioxidants which will help reduce the stress the race ran havoc on your body, you have to not only repair the muscles but cells too. No one wants to look good from the neck down. Collagen from the C as well will help fight anti-aging of the cell which antioxidants work together with the amino acids in foods to do.

Dish The Healthy 411


Seared Pork Belly Good for PR ; contains antioxidants, helps fight fatigue, contains fat solubles (ADEK) that absorb the fat, may reduce stress and process proteins faster.
Lobster Pronto Pup

perfect for the long day in the yard. Rich in Zinc which fights off mosquitoes, build the immune system, increases the sex drive, burns fat (with the spices and vinegar in the dish)

Lamb Belly Tacos

PR, rich in antioxidants, helps with electrolyte replacement, rich in C, B, potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, vitamin K, D, E and protein. May help with psoriasis, helps strengthen hair and creates fuller hair, reduces aging of the skin and increases breast size possibly as well as helps with infertility.

Soups and Salads

Cheeseburger Soup (PR) contains electrolyte replacement nutrients: niacin, E, Calcium, magnesium, salt, protein
Avocado Crab Salad PR; all the time runner meal. Rich in beta carotene, rich in omega 3’s, healthy heart dish, fat burning ingredients, helps with fatigue, increases oxygen to the bloodstream; contains tryptophan and creates more calcium in the body (which is not just for bones but relaxes the muscular walls ie heart)
South Main Salad

PR; Rich in E, immune building, rich in omega 3, healthy heart dish, fat burner, rich in Vitamin C and beta carotene. Contains tryptophan and creates more calcium in the body for a healthier heart.


Seared AHI Tuna PR; all the time runner food, yoga, crossfit. Electrolyte replacement nutrients; rich in zinc, helps with sex drive, healthy heart, omega 3’s; fat burning ingredients, boosts immune system.
Sea Scallops Immune building

increases sex drive

Shrimp and Grits (PR) runner food

rich in Calcium, zinc, protein, beta carotene, C, magnesium, iron and Niacin which are De-stress nutrients

Immune boosting

recommendation: have the Seared Pork Belly appetizer to help increase the fat burning from the cheddar

Chorizo Meatloaf

Prepare your body for high fat foods with citrus before you meal. Vitamin C and increased pH in stomach can help burn faster. Try and ale with an orange or red wine with your appetizer. Another recommendation is that you have ¼ of orange or ¼ of apple to increase the metabolism one hour before you go to dinner.

Recommendation: to help process the high fats from this meal choose the South Main Salad with the meal but not before. Because the function of the salad is to cleanse the body therefore it has no function before the meal.

Hemp Encrusted Salmon PR; all the time runner food, crossfit, hard workout. This dish is full of protein, and immune boosting nutrients essential for a post workout, or marathon. Rich in Omega 3; increases oxygen in the bloodstream; healthy heart. Very high in protein.

Fresh Blackened Seafood Pasta: With blackened dishes, I recommend having potassium rich foods like the banana pudding for dessert or spinach like in the South Main Salad because potassium helps balance the sodium levels in the cells which can cause inflammation and larger fat cells.

Fresh Blackened Seafood Pasta With blackened dishes, I recommend having potassium rich foods like the banana pudding for dinner or spinach salad like the South Main Salad because potassium and E help balance sodium levels.
Vegetable Plate

Rich in Antioxidants; omega 3; healthy heart dish. Recommend the Avocado Crab salad to enhance nutrient absorption. As well as the banana pudding for potassium/ sodium balance.


French Toast Banana Foster Potassium, calcium, protein
Banderas Memphis

PR; all the time running; the avocado is rich in E (cell protector aka antioxidant ) and Egg which is rich in E, typtophan which will calm the body. Iron, B, calcium Rich in immune boosting and de-stress nutrients: B, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, and E. Good for after an all-nighter at BBQ fest.

Vegetaian Eggs Benedict

Perfect blend of electrolyte replacement needed for post workout, or post party night.

Curry Edamame Tofu Scramble

Rich in protein, nutrients for the heart, curry is perfect spice that has a high amount of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, low sodium, rich in fiber, folate, B-6, phosphorus even has 1g of protein. Edamame is a rich vegetable protein source and with protein vegetables they are digestible by 90% into the body, higher than animal meat. Tofu is a soy protein source and increases breast size. This is a perfect healthy dish. Recommendation is to pair this with the avocado crab salad for quinoa, giving that one more extra punch of protein.

Try it out and let us know what you think !

Soul food ain’t all bad, knowledge is power.

Tracy Knight

Tracy Knight is the owner of Skinny South Incredible Treats, mom, nutritionist, wellness expert for 15 years. She is a avid runner, and swimmer. She is the author of Eatfit plan, Food Pairing (release date 2016) Journey Within (release date 2017) and several nationally published articles.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s